Alan Wake is a property of Remedy’s that has a pretty hardcore, dedicated fanbase. There have been promising signs by way of the spin-off American Nightmare or the more recent instance of Remedy buying back the right to the IP, but Control: AWE is by far the best indicator yet.
Much like Control: The Foundation, AWE introduces players to a previously undiscovered district of the FBC, this time the investigations wing. And the Alan Wake references start immediately, with the writer himself making a (brief) appearance. Perhaps most important is the fact that this DLC doesn’t play well to those unfamiliar with the prior games. There is little hand-holding, and many of the hints scattered throughout are meaningless without prior knowledge of characters and events. This is great for fans of Alan Wake, but not so much for newcomers, especially since Alan Wake has not been playable in any form on a PlayStation platform at any point in its life. Not yet, anyway.
Visually, the dense labyrinthine environments fold in on themselves much like with other regions of the FBC. Unfortunately, with the exception of the boss arenas -- of which there are several -- the environments don’t really bring anything new to the table. Certainly not in the way The Foundation managed. No, the star is very much the connective tissue to Alan Wake. The collectibles are almost exclusively Wake related, and many of them hint at earth-shaking, lore-altering ideas that had either been previously unexplored or only teased. These revelations are especially important because the core narrative is pretty threadbare.
As with The Foundation, we get a new weapon mode: Surge. While not an unwelcome addition, it is rather redundant; a remote-detonated grenade launcher, to go along with the impact based one we already have. It’s underwhelming, even if the weapon is rather powerful.
Perhaps where things get most creative are the many boss fights. You face off with the horrifically mutated visage of Dr. Emil Hartman, a minor character from Alan Wake. This also gives the team the perfect chance to brilliantly incorporate Alan Wake’s primary antagonist: darkness. Using portable lights have already factored into key moments through Control, so these leaps feel like a natural one. The mechanic integrates so seamlessly into the experience that it’d be easy to believe that this is what Remedy intended all along. You have to keep a collection of generators powered in each arena, which strips away Hartman’s strongest defense, resulting in an intriguing game of cat-and-mouse, though one that gets repeated an almost laughable number of times before you finish him for good.
If you’re already a fan of Alan Wake, this is a brilliant experience that provides more juicy tidbits from the beloved property. If you’re new to Alan Wake, though, this is not the right starting point. Wait for the –hopefully – PS5 remaster and then come back to AWE after that.
Well that's unfortunate for me. I know nothing about Alan Wake. Still, sounds like good Easter egg-like fun for those that do.
I played Control through Now so I’d probably wait until PS5 to play the DLC in a complete edition that y’know wasn’t a technical disaster.
I hope Alan Wake gets the remaster treatment now after playing this.
I know nothing of Alan Wake either. Would love to play it and Quantum Break some day though...
Played Alan Wake on the Xbox or Dreamcast, unsure. Was a pretty good game, very dark, darkness was the enemy so it was a tricky platformer/action/mystery type thing. It did a lot well and left it open for a sequel (which never came).
@Michael0719 I love how far out you are. It's a whole gaming gen later on the X360 you'd have played it (presuming it wasn't through X1 backwards compatibility or on PC)
Agreed with you. It was a very good game and definitely left a lot open. The Standalone expansion American Nightmare wasn't so great but Alan Wake is one of my favourite games from Gen 7.
I played Control with PS Now, it was okay, weird enough I guess. I don't feel the urge to play more of it though.
The DLC just makes me wish for an Alan Wake remaster.
I also played Control from PS Now and thought it was excellent. Played Alan Wake yonks ago and really enjoyed it. Defo buying this for PS5.
@SoulsBourne128 Big time same! Alan Wake's one of my all-time favorites. So this was a treat because of that, but as an expansion...ehhhhhh. It was..fine?
I tried Alan Wake a couple of years ago on PC, and man that game is soo good. I'm surprised it didn't get a sequel.
Alan Wake is fantastic, have yet to the DLC for Control but i'm so happy Remedy haven't giving up with it.
I was very underwhelmed with this DLC. When they first announced both of them I thought that the Foundation was going to be a small increment and then AWE would be a meaty story-based DLC, how wrong I was.
The story in the Foundation was quite interesting, delving into the origins of the Oldest House and the Former. AWE makes you chase a monster around, with some glimpses of Alan Wake here and there, and a tease for a Control 2/AW 2 game. This DLC was basically one of those short teasers that you get for a game that's years away, except, you know, it costs money.
Sorry but that pun was HORRID lol.
Oh a better note, this sounds interesting. Would love a Alan Wake Collection for ps4/ps5
AWE reminded me that I bought Alan Wake from GOG a while back and never even downloaded it. It never came to PS so I've never played it but I reckon I'll take that for a spin over buying the DLC.
@SamMR From what I can tell Remedy really wanted to make another one, but Microsoft was never interested. Now that Remedy owns the IP, there's hope!
@Dominator2885 You're welcome! It physically hurt to type, and that's when I knew it had to stay!
Sad to hear this didn't score very well. I'll be waiting for a $20-30 discount in a few years for the PS5 Ultimate Edition.
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